Ben Kweller Biography
Last updated: 02/23/2008 10:00:00 AM
what's your full name? benjamin lev kweller
where were you born? san fransisco, CA. we moved to emory, Texas when i was only a few months old, and then up the road thirty miles to a larger town called greenville. i consider greenville my home town.
Where do you live now?: well, in may of ‘99 i moved to Guilford, CT (that's outside of New Haven) to live with my girlfriend Liz. in november we decided to move to New York and stumbled upon this great place in Brooklyn. and i don't plan on moving anytime soon after seeing how hard it was for those guys to get my piano up these stairs!
when people ask what you do, what do you tell them?: well, often i say:
"oh, I'm a singer/songwritter." then usually they say "what???" so i tell them: "i write songs and sing them. <<making an air-guitar motion as i say that, ya know, to let them know that it has to do with music>>.. depending on how suave i wanna be i'll say something like, "ya, I'm a recording artist for the Island Def Jam music group a division of universal." or if i want to keep it simple, "me?... I'm a musician..... ya."
is the guitar your main instrument?: well.. i'd say my main instruments are guitar and piano and i use harmonica on some of the stuff.
What does your music sound like?: my friend anabelle hall says it's "A cross breed of sing-along/power-pop, and anti-folk sprinkled with toy keyboards, Texas and love." i usually just say "its really melodic and fun to sing with." but, like this week ive been playing a lot of acoustic guitar so i say "its sort of acousticy and melodic." but that's really the hardest question cause my music and tastes are always changing. i like every instrument and sound.
what are your favorite books? the catcher in the rye (salinger), get a financial life (kobliner) and wicca: a guide for the solitary practitioner (cunningham)
what's your favorite food? sushi, cuban and puerto rican food; beef jerky, pulpa de tamarindo (and other various mexican junk food), pretty much anything salty.
you talk about television in some of your songs. do you like it? generally i prefer the internet over television but there are some things i like: 60 minutes, freaks and geeks (which we think is now off the air). the x-files and space programs on channel 13. as far as radio goes i love national public radio, howard stern, and i listen to my mets on WFAN the fan 660AM.
what in hell is the song "doom generation" about? its about the film "doom generation" directed by greg araki, starring rose mcgowen as amy. in the movie amy says "sex is like eating spaghetti." that's where i got the chorus from.
what kind of bed do you have? uumm....it's a queen size King Koil.
when's your birthday? june 16th
so that makes you a cancer. no a gemini, you'd better read wicca: a guide for the solitary practitioner.
what are some web sites you like? macster.com ("napster" for all you windows people), goto.com, guster.com, lapinetrucks.com, ebay.com, dogsname.com, littletandonetrackmike.com, schwab.com, pavementtherockband.com, and rollingstone.com (the part where you can download free music videos), goodrecords.com, and belleandsebastion.com, the flaming lips website. my dentist has a cool website (drlevy.com).
what do you do with your spare time? the other day liz and i rode our bikes over to prospect park and watched a little league baseball game. that was fun. i also love watching the majors too. my favorite team are the mets. i love scuba diving, although i haven't been in over a year. you can usually find me on the subway playing pocket chess on my palm V. we all try to get together once a month and have a dinner party/jam/talent show. the shows include freestyle topic rapping, add lib opra songs etc. we really encourage all talents. ya know, if you got a good juggling act or a nice little cheer you're in! i love the outdoors too, hiking and camping. i was a boy scout ya know... the home button on this site was my first aid merit badge.
what are some of your favorite records? oh, geez.. umm.. "we are urusei yatsura" by urusei yatsura. carol king "tapestry." beatles "revolver" and "let it be" (beatles records subject to change weekly).
pavement, "crooked rain crooked rain" and "brighten the corners." beach boys "pet sounds." velvet underground box set. elliot smith "either/or." nils lofgren "nils lofgren." the hollies "greatest hits." guster "lost and gone forever." chet baker "it could happen to you." i like the new yo la tengo record a lot. a friend made me a tape of belle and sebastion's "tiger milk" been listening to that a lot in my car.
so far ben has had two songs reach the UK singles chart: "Little Pink Stars" top 40, "Simple Sincerity" top 200.
he's also been on several TV shows including: "The David Letterman Show," "Late Night with Conan O'brian," 120 minutes (MTV), and Much Music (Canada).
he's played at: Reading Festival ‘97, V97, Lallapalooza ‘97, Roskilda Festival ‘98, and Courts festival ‘98.
he's opened up for: Fastball, Failure, Guster, Jon Spencer's Blues Explosion, Yo La Tango, INXS, Lifter, Lit, the Eels, Pavement, and Dinosaur jr. to name a few.